Thursday, February 11, 2010

Digitizing...... an amazing new technique that I have been slowly learning over the past few months. How to explain digitizing? Well, it's a way of putting a design into a format that your embroidery machine can read. It is fairly easy to do once you learn the techniques (and actually remember them!!).......and can be rather time consuming. Although it is a very lovely way of passing the time if you enjoy the process.....which I do.  :>) It's a technique that allows you to combine embroidery with applique. Pictured above is one of the blocks that I have digitized and stitched out. This is for a block of the month that I am doing. I am actually doing two of these using "traditional" fusible web machine applique techniques....and one digitized. While the machine applique version has the lovely satin stitch and incorporates a few other decorative stitches as well, it does not have the lovely "thread play" that you see on the digitized version.....or the textured embroidery (as can be seen on the stem in the above picture). However, I must admit that the machine applique version is a bit quicker. You don't have to take the time to digitize anything. Just cut and sew.....basically.  :>)

As far as actual sewing time for both's probably pretty close. It took about two hours for the digitized block pictured to be stitched out. That includes thread changes, fabric placement and trimming. The quarter circles in the corners were done using machine applique techniques. These had to be added after the central design was stitched out and the block trimmed down to the appropriate size.

Is the digitized block worth all the extra time and effort? Definitely, yes! While it may take a bit more time to do, you do end up with a more precise looking block....and are able to add touches of embroidery that you wouldn't be able to do with a regular sewing machine. The digitizing allows you to put the stitches where you want them.....and repeat stitches are exactly that. Close-to-perfect repeats. I won't call them perfect, simply because with digitizing the line of stitches will follow the line it is given when digitizing....and that may not always be perfect.

Pictured below: Another digitized block from the same block-of-the-month program. The checkerboard appearance of the leaves is not from the fabric used. It is actually from the decorative stitching that was done on top of the fabric.

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